Amazon Reports $111 Billion in Revenues

Posted on October 28, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Amazon with 15 Comments

Amazon reported today that it earned a net income of $3.2 billion on revenues of $111 billion for the quarter ending September 30. It had earned revenues of $96 billion in the year-ago quarter.

“We’ve always said that when confronted with the choice between optimizing for short-term profits versus what’s best for customers over the long term, we will choose the latter,” Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said. “And you can see that during every phase of this pandemic. In the first several months of COVID-19, Amazonians played an essential role to help people secure the requisite PPE [personal protective equipment], food, and other in-demand items needed, and we worked closely with businesses and governments to leverage AWS to maintain business continuity as they responded to the pandemic.”

It’s not clear what any of that has to do with Amazon’s quarterly results, but let’s at least give Mr. Jassy credit for being as inscrutable as his predecessor. Certainly, the firm he runs hasn’t become any more transparent either: Its quarterly earnings announcement is full of nonsense that has little to do with financials or the performance of the business. But here are a few key takeaways:

Revenues rose 15 percent year-over-year, but net income was roughly half of what the firm delivered in the quarter last year.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) revenues grew 39 percent year-over-year, with revenues hitting $16.1 billion.

Amazon expects revenues in the current quarter to land between $130 billion and $140 billion, with growth of 4 to 12 percent YOY. Because of labor shortages, higher employee costs, global supply chain constraints, and increased freight and shipping costs, Mr. Jaffey said that he expects Amazon to take on an additional “several billion dollars” of extra costs this holiday quarter, CNBC reported.

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Comments (15)

15 responses to “Amazon Reports $111 Billion in Revenues”

  1. bluvg

    "It’s not clear what any of that has to do with Amazon’s quarterly results"


    I think this is the answer: "Revenues rose 15 percent year-over-year, but net income was roughly half of what the firm delivered in the quarter last year."

  2. derekabraham

    There is a typo - it's Mr. Jassy, not Jaffey.

  3. derylmccarty

    I could not hazard a guess what the 'right' numbers should be for AMZN...but 2.9% seems low. But recall that they are much more diversified than say Google, Apple or MSFT. This, in turn, means that a cost issue in one part of the company - say Kindle books now that fewer of us are stuck home reading - should not hurt the company like a cost issue (or supply chain issue) with iPhone 13 - every one of which is made in the middle of the Middle Kingdom.


    My first inclination is that the major difference is who is leading the company and with what vision. In that regard, the leader/vision maker is no longer Jeff. Does that hurt the company? ?Quien sabe?

    • robincapper

      I suspect reflects that Amazon have to invest much more in physical assets & labour (distribution network) than the likes of Google, Apple or MSFT.

    • locust_infested_orchard_inc.

      You fail to appreciate that the recently appointed CEO of Amazon, Andy Jassy, is not some new kid-on-the-block, nor is he unknown by Wall Street. Andy joined Amazon in 1997, and conceived the original concept of cloud computing, Amazon Web Services (AWS).


      The replacement of Jeff Bezos had no bearing on the lower than expected net income. Paul Thurrott cited CNBC, which shed light on the poor net income – "because of labor shortages, higher employee costs, global supply chain constraints, and increased freight and shipping costs".

  4. Tiny

    It was hard for me to put 3.2 billion dollars into perspective. That is about 1142 trips into space.

  5. brettscoast

    Will that make Amazon a better corporate citizen, probably not. How about they start paying their staff\workers properly. You would think with Bezos gone that they could become more transparent and less greedy. Hope springs eternal.

    • locust_infested_orchard_inc.

      Amazon, in their current recruitment drive, are offering $18 per hour along with a golden hello of between $3000 to $5000.


      In addition, Amazon are offering all employees the opportunity to study for fully paid-for external qualifications in various areas relevant to the Amazon business (e.g., warehousing, logistics, management, etc), allowing employees to climb the greasy corporate ladder.


      Amazon is investing in their employees, contrary to your statement.

  6. MutualCore

    $3 billion net on $111 gross. I can tell you the story there.


    $3 billion profit from AWS + $0 profit from Amazon.com retail operation.

  7. MutualCore

    $16 billion AWS revenue for the quarter, while Azure is probably at that number for the entire year.

    • locust_infested_orchard_inc.

      Why do you speculate on Azure's revenue ? Microsoft reported their financials only two days before Amazon, with the Intelligent Cloud (Azure) reaping $17 billion in revenues.


      With the comparison in revenue between Azure and AWS made above, you assumption is wholly out of kilter with the reality.

  8. Bart

    Azure: $17 billion in revenues, a gain of 31 percent year-over-year (YOY).


    Amazon Web Services (AWS) revenues grew 39 percent year-over-year, with revenues hitting $16.1 billion


    Azure is bigger, but AWS grows faster?

    • Andy Babiec

      Microsoft Cloud (not just Azure) generated $20.7 billion in revenue for the quarter, up 36% year over year.


      They don't give a $ number for Azure but it is assumed to be lower than AWS.


      "Azure and other cloud services revenue growth of 50% (up 48% in constant currency)"


      So Azure is growing faster than AWS but that is expected because it is starting from a lower value.



  9. locust_infested_orchard_inc.

    An observation garnered from Amazon's earnings is that for the first time in Amazon's history, sales from Amazon services have surpassed its retail online sales.


    Whilst net retail/product sales were $54.9 billion, revenue from AWS, advertising, third-party seller services and Prime subscriptions were $55.9 billion.

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